The Epistle to the Reader.
ALthough; good Reader I wryte in playne termes, and not so playnely as truely, concerninge the mat∣ter, meaning honestly to all men, and wish them as much good, as to myne owne harte, yet as there hathe bene, so there is now, and hereafter wilbe curious heades to fynde faultes: wherefore I thought it necessary nowe at this second Impression, to acquaynt thee with a great faulte, as some taketh it, but not as I meane it, callinge these Uagabondes Cursetors, in the Intytuling of my booke, as runners or rangers about the Countrey, deri∣ued of this Latin word (C V R R O) neyther do I write it Cooresetores with a double oo, or Cowresetors wyth a w, which hath an other signification: is there no diuersi∣tie betwene a gardein, and a garden, maynteynance, and maintenance: Streytes, & stretes: those that haue vnder∣standing, knowe there is a great difference: who is so ig∣norant in these dayes, as knoweth not the meanynge of a vagabone? and if any ydell leuterar should so bee cal∣led of any man, woulde not hee thinke it bothe odyous and reprochfull? will he not shon the name? ye and where as he may and dare with bent browes, will reuenge that name of ignominy: yet this playn name vagabone is de∣riued as others be of Latin wordes, and now vse makes it common to all men: but let vs loke backe foure hundred yeares sithens, and let vs see whether this playne worde vagabon, was vsed or no? I beleue not, and why? because I read of no such name in the old estatuts of this realme, vnlesse it be in the margent of the Booke, or in the Table, which in the collection and printing was set in, but these were then the common names of these leud leuterars, say tores, Robardesmen, Drawlatches, & valiant beggers. If I should haue vsed such wordes, or the same order of Page [unnumbered] writing, as this realme vsed in King Henry the thyrd, or Edward the firstes time. Oh what a grose, barbarous fel∣lowe haue we here, his writing is both homely & darke, that we had nede to haue an enterpreter, yet then it was very well and in short season, a great change we see, well this delycatage shall haue his time on the othersyde, elo∣quence haue I none, I neuer was acquaynted with the Muses. I neuer tasted of Helycon. But accordinge to my playne order, I haue set forth this worke, simply and tru∣ly with such vsuall wordes and termes, as is amonge vs well knowne and frequented. So that as the prouerbe sayth (althoughe truth bee blamed, it shall neuer bee sha∣med,) well good reader, I meane not to be tedious vnto thee but haue added fyue or sixe more tales, because some of them were donne whyle my Booke was fyrste in the presse, and as I truste I haue deserued no rebuke, for my good will, euen so I desire no prayse for my payne, coste, and trauell. But faythfully for the profyt and bene∣fyte of my country, I haue donne it, that the whole bodye of the Realme, may see and vnderstand their leud lyfe and perni∣tious practises, that all maye speedely helpe to amende that is amisse. Amen say all with me.